I’m studying using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black to make dye colors. Think CMYK color printing percentages.
|Some of my samples as I work on particular colorways. The oranges and blue were from a different colorway.|
If you’re not familiar with CMYK its from modern color theory (using cyan, magenta, yellow and black – instead of red, green and yellow) and I’ll get into that more in a later post.
Using this color below for an example: (info from colorhexa.com) It has 0% cyan, 71% magenta, 100% yellow and 12% black. Not totaling the percentages for the color, but how much of each color you’d use out of a possible 100%. Say 1 teaspoon dye stock is 100%. Then for this color 71% would be about ¾ of a teaspoon of dye stock.
Some of the obstacles I’m finding to creating my colors are:
- Some colors are “stronger” than others in dye brands. Take yellow for instance with the dyes I have (a mix of Jaquard and Dharma acid dyes): magenta is ~2 times as strong as it is and cyan is ~3-4 times as strong. So I have to adjust recipes. This is giving me successes with purples, oranges and greens. (Above you can tell I was working on greens for a color way.)
- Figuring out how to measure very small amounts of dye stock so I don’t waste it. (I found some very cool measuring spoons with a drop, dash, smidgen, etc. Who knew these were real measurements? I had to measure them against a teaspoon because I’d seen differing opinions on the measurements of the really small ones.) Helpful for reproducibility.
- Figuring out how to quickly adjust the color of a sample mix. Having 5-6 samples to tinker with at a time and a paper to note what you added each time is helpful.
- Color conversion is very much an art and not an exact science. Photoshop and say colorhexa.com have different “recipes” for CMYK. I think this has to do with “color spaces” (adobe rgb, vs srgb, etc.) which are a heavy graphics topic. Not sure how much I want to dive into graphics terminology when I’d rather be playing with dyes.
- Some dye heating methods may change the over all dye effect. (I’ve read that some fast heating methods like the microwave may not let some dyes attach as well and I may need to heat longer or try steaming or putting my samples in a crockpot. Which makes me sad – because I liked the quick fix of seeing the color in a few minutes.)
- Some colors bond more quickly to the wool. So when playing with more than 2 dyes at a time I don’t always get the colors I want. Browns are really a challenge and may require a 2 step dye process. (I’ll report back when I figure out what works and what doesn’t. So far mixing all 4 dyes colors makes a yucky colored mess, not a pretty chocolate brown.)